¦ What: An evening with Jeff Corwin, screening of "Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland"
¦ When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 20.
¦ Where: Tennessee Aquarium's Imax 3D Theater, 201 Chestnut St.
¦ Admission: $15 members, $20 nonmembers.
¦ Website: http://bit.ly/imaxeventwithjeffcorwin.
In the old days -- a decade or so ago -- filmmakers like Jeff Corwin would have to haul a million dollars worth of equipment to some remote place and then spend months, even years, in post-production to get a finished film.
It was tougher back in the era of Charles Darwin, when just surviving the journey was part of the equation.
Today, guys like Corwin can carry an iPhone with them, shoot the footage, do a little editing and have it out to the world for viewing by dinnertime the same day.
That is not what the makers of "Gallapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland" did. They went old school, utilizing the latest in high-tech equipment and devoting hundreds of hours in filming to get the right shot so they could tell the story as it deserved to be told, according to Corwin, the film's narrator.
Corwin, an internationally known naturalist, film and TV host (he is currently hosting "Ocean Mysteries With Jeff Corwin" on ABC), will be on hand for the film's premiere at the Tennessee Aquarium's Imax 3D Theater on Tuesday, May 20. Corwin will introduce the film and then answer questions following its screening.
Corwin said in a telephone interview that making the film was a difficult task, with some obvious built-in advantages, namely the islands and the 9,000 species that live there.
"How do you tell a 7-million-year-old story in 40 minutes and keep the audience focused?" he said. "You do it with high production values in 3-D and with a great story. You use all these characters. It tells the universal story of nature."
The Galapagos are a unique archipelago of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean that have been home to a vast variety of wildlife for nearly 8 million years. Viewers of the film will see half-ton tortoises that lumber among flocks of dancing blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants.
It is also home to penguins, living thousands of miles from their natural habitats, who share the seas with marine iguanas that spit sea salt.
"There are not too many places more powerful than the Galapagos Islands when it comes to understanding our planet," said Corwin.
The ultimate goal of films like "Galapagos 3D," according to Corwin, is to connect people with nature and the importance of preserving it, even in places far from where you might live.
"When you see it with your family, you will be enthralled and you will be entertained and your heart will tug at the very special story of a tortoise or an iguana," he said. "But hopefully you will leave with information that will empower you when it comes to making good decisions regarding environmental stewardship.
"That is lesson we need to learn because unfortunately if we don't learn that lesson, in the very near future we won't be able to tell stories like this because they will be gone."
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.